Washington Adventist University Music Department Overcomes Pandemic Challenges
Story by Richard Castillo
Washington Adventist University’s (WAU) Music Department is renowned for the high quality of talent and musicianship that is exemplified each opportunity each talented student gets to perform. Lately, those opportunities are far and few between, or not at all. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on musicians and vocalists’ ability to be in close quarters for rehearsal or performance. For the sake of safety, many of their most dedicated musicians have found their existence to be solitary.
Vocalist Ana Laura Aguilar Piedra is working to earn her Bachelor's in Music in voice performance at WAU. As she sees it, this moment has given musicians a chance to rehearse like never before. It may be the optimist view, but she is an optimist.
Piedra is working with Daniel Lau, chair of the Music Department, to install new equipment that utilizes a new software that allows multiple musicians or vocalists to collaborate from entirely separate rooms. This virtually eliminates the onerous delays in synchronization you would typically see while using Zoom or another conferencing app. While these apps are admirable for their stated use, it can become painfully apparent that music is not one of their strengths.
Allowing each student in a different room to hear their counterparts clearly and in time, allows for a more complete and productive rehearsal and growing experience.
Lau sees this new technique for rehearsal and recording as nothing short of a game-changer. He believes this software will allow the WAU Music Department to thrive when the pandemic’s effect could have crippled the department.
WAU may not exist in a world everyone wants to live in, but it is the one that exists. Thankfully WAU’s Music Department is up to the challenge.
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